Balancing work and family

Balancing job and family is a challenge for almost every working parent. Your life and priorities have changed so much since having a baby, but work pressures haven’t. You may worry that your co-workers resent you for not putting in the long hours you used to, or that your boss doesn’t understand.

Instead of focusing on the time you can’t be at work, think about how to more efficiently use the time you do spend there. Consider coming in early instead of staying late, and eliminating as much personal activity at work as possible. Some people are able to work through lunch in order to leave earlier, for example.

Keep track of your progress and communicate with your boss about it on a regular basis so he or she can see firsthand that you’re balancing parenthood with dedication to your job. And though you can’t control what your co-workers think, proving you’re a diligent, responsible employee should minimize their resentment.

You may also be wondering how much you should integrate your parent self with your work self. The answer depends largely on the culture and style of your particular workplace. Look around and observe how other moms and dads handle this matter, and let their example guide you. Do supervisors chat about their kids, leave early to catch a soccer game or school performance, or work from home while caring for a sick baby? Do many parents take advantage of options like flex time? Many companies these days understand that helping employees balance work and family is a win-win situation. If yours doesn’t, it may be time to start looking for a new job.

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